Portland +7 vs Michigan St    2 units   (530pm ET)

Portland had a lead in the 2nd half on North Carolina the other day before they lost close and then beat Villanova by double digits. With Malik Hall and Akins out Izzo was forced to play Tyson Walker and a few guys extra minutes the last few games and they struggled late in the game vs Alabama the more the game went on. This is a big game for Portland for two reasons – it’s a tournament game in the Phil Knight tournament that they’re fortunate they get to play on their home court but more important it’s the last time they’re facing a team who’s currently in the top 25 until they see Gonzaga in mid January. This team’s really smart on offense with a lot of shooters – 38% from three – and are coached by the Eastern Washington coach whose team almost upset Kansas in the tournament 2 years ago and he brought a few of his players with him. This team believes it can play in the tournament and if they’re going to have a chance they need a good showing before their non-conference schedule softens up.